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Messages from Hiroshima

Japanese version

Hisako Kimura (female)
'Chokubaku'  1.6 km from the hypocenter / 8 years old at the time / current resident of Miyagi

The scenes of the A-bombed city are introduced here. The photographs are not directly connected with the messages. Eighteen of my relatives were victims of the atomic bombing. Among them, eight died within ten days, and another five died after ten days. Five survived and are hibakusha, people exposed to radiation from the atomic bomb.

The scene I witnessed on that day was so cruel it is something that should never be allowed to occur in this world. My father died three days after it, although I was not actually present at the time. My grandfather, who died after six days, suffered in a ghost-like form, unrecognizable as a human being. He picked out maggots from his body, puzzling over why he should be brought near death in such a state.

The regular citizens living with hopes and dreams who became victims did not even have the chance to learn what actually happened. What thoughts would they have had when they died? We should think about what they must have felt. Because of the atomic bomb attack, we citizens had to live our childhood and youth without experiencing real childhood. Never should anyone have to suffer like us again. To this end also, it is necessary to abolish nuclear weapons as soon as possible. Nuclear weapons, which do not allow people to live, nor to die, like human beings, must be abolished, also for the sake of future generations. We hibakusha will continue to pass on our experiences to the next generation, so that they may relive them for themselves, preserve them until nuclear weapons are abolished and thereafter keep them for posterity. We hibakusha will continue to speak out as long as we live.

I took part in the last NPT Review Conference in 2005 and the New York Campaign, turning my strong hatred towards the USA into a resolve to appeal. While talking with the Americans, I listened to their apologies towards the victims of the atomic bombing, and felt an emptiness. However, I also realized that our message for abolition of nuclear weapons is getting through to some extent.

President Obama, in his presidential vision speech last April in Prague in the Czech Republic, stated that it is "America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons". As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, I think the United States has a moral responsibility to influence public opinion on the abolition of nuclear weapons in the world, and to make it a reality. This year's Review Conference is a chance for us to hold out some hope.

It is not only the will of my fellows who died and left this world, but is also a life mission I am charged with. Hence, I have decided to participate in the 2010 NPT Review Conference and the New York Campaign and carry out this important role.